India's power minister, Piyush Goyal, was on a European investment scouting mission recently and opened up a series of avenues for FDI into the power sector in Vienna and London. India's Minister for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal, was on a European tour in early May to lure Austria and the UK to look at investing more in India. At the Vienna Energy Forum, the discussion revolved around the world's largest energy transformation programme which is currently being pioneered by India. Goyal asserted that no country can offer the kind of scale and speed that India has in terms of financing and technical capabilities. Goyal also urged the global community to link low-cost technology, renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles. He said: “India has experienced world's largest energy transformation compared to any other country. Today we have renewable energy that is unimaginable.” Highlighting India's falling prices of solar and wind energy which at present have reached below grid parity, the minister claimed that the bidding process for renewable energy projects in the country was proof of the power of transparency and honesty in the governance system. [caption id="attachment_10881" align="alignleft" width="426"]
Goyal at NTPC Masala Bond launch at London Stock Exchange[/caption] He appealed to world Leaders to fast track the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 - Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all - in order to achieve other SDGs by 2030. He also emphasised that Austrian technology can be made affordable and economically viable around the world only if it dovetails with the “Make in India” initiative. As a result of his persuasions, a delegation from Austria will be heading to India in June. The minister informed foreign investors that the Indian government has already prepared guidelines for fast-charging stations for e-vehicles and battery swaps for buses and that work has already begun to prepare tenders to buy the vehicles. India's state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) will soon invite bids for the bulk supply of electric cars and other vehicles for its ministries and public sector undertakings located in Delhi. “Tenders for about 1,200 vehicles for offices of various departments in Delhi will give the first push to the electric vehicles market,” Goyal said, adding that the market for e-vehicles in India is worth at least $1.5billion. Following Vienna, Goyal flew in to London to initiate India's state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) among the first bonds to list on a new International Securities Market (ISM) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The NTPC Masala Bond is now available for trading on the ISM following the publication of its rulebook and is aimed at raising millions for India's renewable energy projects. He said: “NTPC is one of the first companies to list their recent Masala Bond on London Stock Exchange's innovative new debt market. London has been a long-term partner for Indian firms looking to raise finance in the global capital markets and the development of an additional platform for the listing and trading of fixed income should be welcomed. “In the long run, the rupee will be a currency with most stable exchange rate. We are on the path of growth and we want the rest of the world to be our partner in that growth.” The ISM is an additional market for the issuance and trading of UK and international primary debt targeted at institutional and professional investors. [caption id="attachment_10945" align="alignright" width="385"]
Goyal addresses the India Inc. organised UK-India Conclave in London[/caption] “London Stock Exchange is delighted to announce that its new International Securities Market is now live and welcomes the first bonds to begin trading on the platform. The International Securities Market will provide UK and international fixed income issuers an additional efficient London listing venue, giving them access to the City's deep pool of global capital and an international investor base,” explained Nikhil Rathi, CEO of London Stock Exchange. Kulamani Biswal, Director (Finance) at NTPC, said the listing of NTPC Masala Bonds on ISM as the "maiden issue" on the market marks the growing cooperation between NTPC and LSE. “To NTPC and other issuers from India and across the globe, this provides an opportunity to access quality investors for meeting our financing needs. The tremendous response to NTPC Masala Bonds enthuses us to look at offshore funds as a regular source of financing our Capex needs," Biswal said. The London Stock Exchange claims to be among the world′s most international capital markets, with around 70 per cent of all bond secondary trading activity conducted out of London. “As such issuers on ISM have access to one of the deepest pools of global capital. ISM has been designed to meet the demands of issuers and investors to improve the effectiveness and competitiveness of the UK primary debt markets providing greater choice for a variety of fixed income issuers,” LSE said in a statement. While in the UK, Goyal also spread the message of closer India-UK collaboration in the field of energy, including technologies for flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD), Thermal Power Flexibilisation, De-NOx, pollution reduction from biomass, waste to wealth, smart meters and electric vehicles. Addressing senior executives and policymakers in London at the India Inc. hosted annual UK-India Conclave on the theme of 'A Global Partnership: A New Era in UK-India Relations', the minister said: “I have taken a personal pledge to work towards ensuring every household in India has access to energy by 2019. We are working on solutions to hit our targets before 2022, as the Indian government creates the foundations with a 100-year horizon in view.” He reiterated the message as chief guest of India Inc.'s inaugural UK-India Awards in London, where he presented a special Outstanding Contribution Award to UK Minister for International Development Priti Patel. While in Europe, the minister also oversaw the signing of memoranda of understanding between the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) and British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA) for closer energy alliances between India and the UK.